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  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    On the Civic and Corolla the those have really been 2 different cars over the last two decades in change. The Civic has always had a younger audience than the Corolla. Even with the sport package on the 03 Corolla its not winning any young buyers. On the Protege the Protege has never had the attention of young buyers like the Civic has had in the past. Not alot of young people bought the Protege(1990-1998 because it wasn't appealing to a young audience.) Finally in 2001 Mazda realased the Pro 5 in the US which appealed to youth buyers. Even on a used car list that I saw they said the Protege is reliable but doesn't have anything to make it stand out.

    About resale value if you are going to keep a car for 3-4 years you mine as well just lease if you don't travel alot of miles. Its not worthed to buy a car under the circumstances that I just mentioned. If you plan on keeping a car 5 years resale might be a factor in making a car buying decision. Than again 5 years is when all cars depreciate 50% from their orginal purchase value. 6 or more years of owning a car resale isn't a factor in my opinion. Some people buy a car every 2 years and take the heavy hit on losing money on a trade-in which isn't always smart.

    On the reliability front Mazda does get good marks from Counsumer Reports. The 90 day surveys they don't do well in where as the Domestic Big 3 do good in those surveys but 90 days to own a car isn't enough to judge a cars reliability as we all know.

    On Mazda sales Mazda sales have been down because the 626 was in its last year of body style last year so Mazda sales were down. This year the Protege is in its last year of body style and the 6 got off to a bad start sales wise in the beginning of this year. Thats why Mazda sales are down. With the whole RX-8 HP thing that will hurt Mazda sales more. I wonder if Mazda has to deduct some of their units sold of RX-8 from the year total sales so far if some RX-8's are returned to dealers.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    We are getting rid of the Dodge and the Accord for an 04 Element EX 5 speed. Then after the Mazda3 5 door comes out we'll get rid of the GS300 for it. I'll still have the LS400. And I figure after the kid turns 5 or so the G35 coupes will be getting just about ready to get cheap. If the gas isn't too expensive by then.

    That is if we keep the household population down to 3.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    OK, I've seen these for 2 weeks now but I didn't want to get in trouble like when I presented the specs/options packaging. However, it's now been leaked.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    That's one good looking car!!!

    Hopefully mazda NA will not do anything stupid to change the design too much.


    PS: WOW! This looks good! Sorry, I just can't get over it :)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Your past heroic attempts really earned respect from us!

    The non-sport front end looks good in silver as if all the powerful lines integrated well w/ a V-shape theme. Maybe this is my choice.

    The sport-grill front end also looks good in grey, but not in blue, which looks PT Cruiser-ish.

    The sedan's short rear deck, although may look a little "compact-cheap", seems like it's design to compete w/ the upcoming BMW 1-series. In other words, this is the future BMW looks. So BMW will be accused of imitating Mazda. Watch out Mazda, the 2005 4-cyl BMW 1-series(w/ the 4-dr sedan being built here in Carolina planned) might cost only $22k. Just like the later-introduced Euro Accord(Acura TSX) seems to be copying the Mazda6, although it was Mazda that followed Honda's grill shape.

    That VW interior must be the future Golf/Jetta's, as hinted by the new-A3-ish "handles at the base of the dash". This time, VW no longer followed the idiotic "piling from the bottom" dash-center layout as "pioneered" by the the Audi A4. Neither is the intelligent Mazda3's "A4-style" dashboard doing the same. This time VW still seem less intelligently designed than the Mazda3. The big screen isn't set high enough like the Mazda3's pop up unit so the driver can see the road while reading it. The center of the instrument is occupied by the warning screen that keeps the 2 main gauges wide apart from each other, making the driver doing the frequent reading of the 2 main gauges together less easily at a glance.

    The Mazda3 only got black or beige interior? That sucks. Give me grey, stone green, or som'in classy as seen in the Lexus & old VW/Audi. Of the few choices, I dislike the blue/black the least.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Another thing I don't like about this VW's design is the high center-vents location. Only a low location as found in the old Rabbit can blow straight through your right sweating palm then to your face. So the Mazda3's is slightly better located than this new VW's.
  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    I cannot thank you enough...

    Okay, NOW I am impress with the 3
  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    .... VERY impressed. The sedan looks terrific in my opinion. VEry Europeean. One can notice a few parts of the M6 in this car. The shifting gear looks very similar to the 6, and well as the center console armrest.

    Only one exhaust pipe? Will it come in leather?
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422

    For Canadian-spec anyways, the only interior combinations are: black, beige, and sport-type (black/blue or black/red). And of course, the interior colour is dependant upon the exterior colour and trim level.


    Yes, only one exhaust pipe. The Mazda6 isn't a true dual exhaust system anyways (it's an X-type).

    Leather is available, but it's black only (not two-tone like the sport cloth).
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,680
    I'm with dinu. That is SWEEET lookin!

    I am taken with the wagon. Yeah, some aspects look like a few of the X-overs of other companies, but it will, of course, be much smaller, and the front end gives it a distinct look. I am in LOVE. :)

    If its quick enough and I can fit comfortably in it (i.e., power seat to fit my 6'5" frame), then I will be taking a long hard look at this when it hits here (hopefully unchanged).

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    The September issue of Car magazine describes the 3 sedan as a "fastback four-door". Does this mean it is a hatch back??
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Fastback often refers to a body style that is a compromise b/w sedan and HB. Notice from the pics the sedan's trunk looks more like a HB's rather than a "proper" sedan.

    I think we can classify as coupe or fastback or hatchback these cars:

    90s Integras 2DR

  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    I am curious, do you think we will see a sporty version of the M3 Sedan similar to the Mazdaspeed Protege?

    I ask because I notice that the sedan looks quite elegant but not necessarily very sporty.
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    Two things that I'd bet my next paycheck on that will be scrapped for the North American version: 1) headlamp washers
    2) GPS navigation (from the top picture).

    On the Mazda6 they changed the rear tail lamps and dropped the turn signal from the front fender in addition to the headlamp washers.
  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    I hope you are wrong about them dropping the navigation system buttt, i think you might be right!!

    Oh well....
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    I think all U.S. spec cars did the same. I've noticed only that Saab 9000 introduced in '86 kept it for us.
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    Actually.... Saabs, Volvos, BMWs, some Subarus, Some Mitsubishis, VW, and some others all keep the fender turn signal in the north american conversion. While this is not a legal requirement (as it is in most of the rest of the world) it's not prohibited (obviously).

    The only thing making me think they'd drop the navigation system is that for this class of car, it's a really pricey option. I'd love it myself, but my gut says most Americans in this car class would balk at the cost. In an obnoxious SUV they'd spring for it :-)

    The only options stated on the Mazda website thus far, are 17 inch wheels and choice of 2.0 or 2.3 litre engine.

    Not sure if you are aware of this, or care, but typing in will bring you to MazdaUSA preview of the Mazda3. All pics are of the Euro Model however.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,680
    dumping the headlight washers is most likely the case because its something most folks don't care about / wouldn't even look for. HOWEVER, I would not be the least bit surprised to see a navigation option. This is becoming such a "necessity" for many buyers. Does any other econo-car offer it? I never bothered to look into that.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422

    It's way too early to tell about a potential Mazdaspeed 3, and even if they make one, it's at least 2 years away from reaching dealers.

    There are only 2 confirmed Mazdaspeed programs right now:

    - Mazdaspeed Miata. Arriving in N. America in spring '04
    - Mazdaspeed 6 Sport (hatch). An '05 production model for Europe (though I suspect Japan will get it too)

    NAV, and HID's:

    Mazda usually packages the headlight washers with HID's (US-spec RX-8 being an exception). HID's will be available as options in Europe and Japan. However, the Canadian-spec Mazda3 won't have HID available (not in the first year anyways). For the USA, I don't know yet.

    Similarily, NAV is definitely an option for Europe & Japan, and not initially available for Canada. Again, don't know for USA.

    My personal opinion is that USA-spec Mazda3 NAV and HID availability will be dependant on their availability on the '04 Mazda6. I just don't see Mazda putting it on the 3 and not having it on the 6. So if these two options become available on the '04 Mazda6, then I'd say chances are more than 50% you'll get it on the Mazda3 as well.
  • Great work on the sedan pictures. I think the car looks fantastic. It's actually going to be difficult for me to choose between the sedan and the sport.

    I will bet important parts of my anatomy that the Mazda3 will not be available with HID, headlight washers or nav in the US or Canada. The car will also not have the ten airbags that the Euro-spec car has. The small car segment in US - and to a lesser degree Canada - will not support he kind of price point that these features demand.

    On a bright note, that little feder turn signal thingy should remain on the cars in Canada. think they look kinda neat!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Back in '89 when I visited Vancouver, I noticed that many of them bothered to pay for the loaded Corolla LE while in the U.S people either get the cheaper Corolla DX or upgrade to the Camry. I think their roads are narrower so a wider Camry is too bulky. So Canadians should be willing to buy loaded small cars.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    US-spec Mazda3 has the following as available options:

    - HID
    - NAV
    - tire-pressure monitoring (this one I'm not surprised, cause there's apparantly a US law saying something like 10% of a company's 04 models must have this system)

    Where did I get this info? Go to MazdaUSA->Upcoming Vehicles->Mazda3. They've got a new Flash presentation.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    $25.000 CAD for a Mazda3 with a sunroof, 16/17" alloys, double tail pipes, spoiler, SAB+SAC, TC/SC, ABS w/EBFD, Brembo brakes w/4piston calipers and all that good stuff rather than $25.000 CAD for a Mazda6 with only ABS w/EBFD, 17" alloys and a rear spoiler...

    I know I am in the minority - I prefer small cars b/c they're more fun to drive and FEEL faster than larger cars.

    Unfortunately most people seem to think a larger cars = a better car in NA...

  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    The sedan is starting to look a little better. Problem is in the side picture it looks like it has 17" wheels. I want to see pictures of it sitting still with 15" or 16", and also in other colors and angles. Not too bad though, I'm impressed.

    Got a few questions.

    Are the interior door handles chrome or carbon-trim?

    I thought the higher-end models would have carbon-trim center stacks. All these have regular black. Also a navigation system but only half of the steering wheel controls? What's going on?

    Also the red cloth is in different places compared to the other two and also seems like a different quality. None of these have the manual controls either, they all seem to have auto-climate controls. I expect our interiors to look a bit different.

    The surrounding plastic around the buttons look like a darker black unlike the MazdaUSA manual control pictures where it all looks the same. So which one do we get?

    Those seats look like the Mazda6 seats, not good. I spent a good 5-7 minutes trying to get comfortable in them and finally gave up and went on the test drive. After about the first 3 minutes I was so uncomfortable that I wanted the test drive to end. No wonder the Protege impressed me so much, I was so uncomfortable in the Mazda6 that I didn't even care how it handled at that point. It took me about 20 seconds to find a good position and to get comfortable in the Protege ES.

    What goes next to the cigarette lighter where that black circle is?

    So Navigation and HID and tire-pressure monitor available? The tire-pressure monitor is a good thing, but the navigation and HID is no big deal to me, wouldn't want it. Hopefully thieves are smart enough to tell which Mazda3's have HID and which don't. And I hope that doesn't give Mazda an excuse to make the regular headlights below average.

    And where's the optional Bose system or other upgrade stereo? So we get $2,000 Navigation systems, HID, side curtains, etc. but all of them get the same mediocre sound system? Come on Mazda..
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    "Are the interior door handles chrome or carbon-trim?"

    They are satin - like the Mazda6 satin fuel door accessory.

    "I thought the higher-end models would have carbon-trim center stacks."

    Actually the carbon is on all the interior pictures there. The carbon is NOT on the center-stack, but rather on the horizontal panel that includes the information display. Unfortunately, those pics are too low resolution to see clearly, but it's there.

    "only half of the steering wheel controls?"

    The missing buttons on one side of the steering wheel are for the cruise control. Vehicles equipped with cruise control will have buttons on both sides of the steering wheel (identical to Mazda6 & RX-8).

    "None of these have the manual controls either"

    MazdaUSA's new Mazda3 flash gallery has a large pic of the dial-type climate controls (you can also see the carbon trim here): lery_big01.jpg

    "Those seats look like the Mazda6 seats"

    Front seats are more similar to the RX-8 seats than the Mazda6 - so try a RX-8 on for size!

    "What goes next to the cigarette lighter where that black circle is?"

    It's a warning light that will light up if you disable the passenger airbag. Just like on the Mazda6 and RX-8, this feature is euro-only, N. American-specs will not have this.

    "And where's the optional Bose system or other upgrade stereo?"

    No BOSE, but the higher trims get a 6-speaker system, so it's pretty good for this class of vehicle.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Do I even DARE ask if Mazda North America will make SIRIUS Satellite Radio at least a dealer option in the USA?
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Actually I would be more jealous of us getting side curtain airbags compared to a navigation system or HID. Of course Canada probably doesn't have SUV's at every street corner either, you guys are the lucky ones.

    And thanks for the answers. I haven't sat in an RX-8 yet. In fact I haven't seen one yet either.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Mazda3's front seat cushion has a pointy shape tapered to the middle so the sides are shorter. That's weak support for the longer thighs w/ missing side support, too. The Volvo version has a more supportive squarish longer cushion.

    No HID or Navigation - no big deal. But no ESP? Even the Focus I had it(AdvanceTrak) for years in America.

    I don't know, our 3 looks so cheap on the dash. Japan's Axela's much more elegant. I wonder how many pieces of dash parts do I need to buy to convert over?
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    European cars have them, they are their side marker lights as well. Where NA cars have red in front and amber on the rear fenders, not used for turn signals.

    The seat cushions were the first thing I noticed in the photo, they have flat bolsters like the Protegé. Not much side support, but very easy to get comfortable on.

    Maybe the reason more people buy Ford cars (and trucks) is because they equate higher service and parts costs with "imported" cars. They may also have bought Fords before and plan to get service at independently owned garages, which there are more of.

    The Escape looks very much like a junior Explorer, where the Tribute looks rather bland and unimpressive, built to minimum standards. Ditto for Mazda's trucks, they got the short end of the stick. A used Ford F-150 is a better deal than either the Ranger or the B-3000.

    My question: Will all of the Mazda3 Sport hatch models come with black trim only?

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,680
    I find it so odd when folks complain about sound systems. It seems to me that it doesn't matter what manufacturers put in their cars, somebody wants to change it in the aftermarket.

    Right now, in my wife's Pilot, there is a fairly decent sound system. 6 speakers and a subwoofer and maybe (i forget exactly) 200-240 watts. I hear nothing but complaints from other owners about it. Ok. Fair enough. Now I look at my S70. It has, by far, the best stock stereo setup I have ever heard or owned. It can go louder (cleanly, I might add) than I can possibly listen to (and I sometimes like it loud enough that my wife holds her ears and screams at me). Guess what? Yep, I'm always reading of owners trying to upgrade it.

    Personally, I think manufacturers are wasting their money when they try to give buyers an expensive sound system. For those that don't care, the manufacturer could spend far less money on it. For those that do care, whatever the manufacturer spends will never be good enough for them. The best thing Subaru did with the STi was to not put in a stereo. Just my .02.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

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